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Meadows Museum hosts award-winning poet and Shreveport native Jericho Brown

October 25, 2016

SHREVEPORT, LA — Shreveport native Jericho Brown returns home on Thursday, November 3 for a poetry reading at Centenary College’s Meadows Museum of Art. “A Night of Verses” begins at 6:30 p.m., and will include a Q & A period with the author following the reading. The event is free and open to the public and food and beverages will be served.

“Brown’s poetry is powerful in its tackling of intersectional issues both directly and obliquely,” says Katie Bickham, lecturer in English at Centenary. “Combining narrative, persona, and lyric poetry, Brown weaves through his new collection The New Testament a simultaneously biographical and political crying out for a new way of looking at the world.  His poems are welcoming and challenging, familiar and surprising. This is everything we want from a good read.”

Brown grew up in Shreveport and graduated from Byrd High School in 1996. He continued his education in New Orleans, graduating magna cum laude from Dillard University and then earning an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of New Orleans. Brown worked as a speechwriter for the Mayor of New Orleans before earning his Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is an associate professor in English and creative writing at Emory University.

Brown’s first collection of poetry, Please (New Issues, 2008), won the 2009 American Book Award. The volume explores themes of loss, loneliness, addiction, and denial in language that reviewer Ilya Kaminsky described as “…memorable, muscular, majestic…a debut of a master poet.” His poetic language and structure has been acclaimed for its musicality and rhythmic qualities.

Brown followed the success of Please with his second collection of poetry, The New Testament (Copper Canyon, 2014). In poetry that is again infused with musicality and characterized by quiet strength in the face of violence, disease, and trauma, Brown tackles themes of race, masculinity, and sexuality. Reviewer Rae Armantrout wrote of The New Testament that Brown “takes America, with its racism, homophobia, war, and reality television and throttles…no, swaddles it in the language of the Bible and the blues. You want to keep reading this book even when it hurts. Like that other new testament, it’s about what love can do.”

The New Testament was nominated for the NCCAP award for poetry and won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. It was also named one of the best books of 2014 by Library Journal and was included as one of The Believer’s top 5 Books of the Year.

In addition to his two published collections, Brown has published poems in The Nation, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The Best American Poetry. He is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Hurston Wright Poetry Prize.

Brown’s visit to Centenary is generously underwritten by the Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture program. In addition to the poetry reading at the Meadows, he will visit several classes and interact with students.

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